John has a degree from Sussex University in Engineering and Social Studies. After a short spell as a rock musician in the early ‘70s, he trained in Town Planning and later gained an MBA. Over 25 years he worked for London Boroughs of Waltham Forest, Newham and Haringey. In 1996 he discovered Milton Keynes, moved to MK Council as Environment Director and from 2002 to 2008 as their Chief Executive. After 2008 he worked as a consultant on international placemaking projects in Europe and the Middle East.
For the last six years his contribution to nourishing places has been divided between waterways and the creative sector. Since 2012 he has chaired the SE Regional Board of the Canal & River Trust who manage and promote the national canal network. Since 2011 he has supported MK`s cultural development as chair of Arts Gateway MK, an arts charity delivering Arts Central creative hubs and associated creative sector programmes for MK and the surrounding areas. Still living in MK, he is passionate about the new city`s onward journey as it evolves into a mature and confident place, where culture and diversity are celebrated.